Assam Assembly's Budget Session starts on stormy note

During the first day of the Budget Session in Assam, opposition members disrupted Governor Gulab Chand Kataria's speech, raising placards and shouted slogans on various issues

Governor Gulab Chand Kataria received a ceremonial welcome at the Assam Legislative Assembly Complex, ahead of Budget Session 2024 (screen grab from @CMOfficeAssam/X)
Governor Gulab Chand Kataria received a ceremonial welcome at the Assam Legislative Assembly Complex, ahead of Budget Session 2024 (screen grab from @CMOfficeAssam/X)
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PTI

The opposition on Monday, 5 January forced Assam Governor Gulab Chand Kataria to cut short his speech on the first day of the Budget Session by creating a noisy scene and displaying placards over various issues.

After reading for just three minutes of his 88-page speech, Kataria had to jump to the last paragraph as opposition, comprising Congress, CPI(M) and Independent MLAs, continued to disrupt his address to the House, where the annual Budget for 2024-25 will be presented on February 12.

The moment Kataria started to read his speech, Leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia and Congress MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha brought to the Speaker's notice the defective audio system.

The audio system in the new Assembly building, which is holding its second session since starting operation last year, is inaudible in most of the corners inside the House, including the press gallery.

Speaker Biswajit Daimary, however, did not intervene and asked the opposition members to sit down while the governor was delivering his speech.

The opposition members then rose to their feet and kept shouting about the audio system.

A section raised various issues and showed placards with different slogans, including protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, reintroducing Old Pension Scheme (OPS) by scrapping National Pension System (NPS), stopping haphazard eviction drives and resignation of Home Minister for failing to nab the culprits who attacked Congress state chief Bhupen Kumar Borah during 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra'.

With the governor continuing his speech, the Congress and Independent MLAs kept shouting with their slogans to draw Kataria's attention.

After the Governor left the House, the Speaker informed the members that the speech was considered to be read.

Daimary then invited all the members of the House to the customary tea party after the Governor left, but the opposition boycotted it due to "injustice to the public" by the government.

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Published: 05 Feb 2024, 11:17 AM
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